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    Inside the numbers

    How Patriots’ salary cap flexibility has improved

    Potential free agents Aqib Talib, Wes Welker, Dwight Freeney (Colts), Julian Edelman and David Nelson (Bills) all could be in the Patriots’ plans now.
    Photos by AP, Getty Images
    Potential free agents Aqib Talib, Wes Welker, Dwight Freeney (Colts), Julian Edelman and David Nelson (Bills), left to right, all could be in the Patriots’ plans now.

    After Tom Brady’s contract extension, the Patriots now have approximately $25 million in salary-cap space, depending on where the final per-team number ends up before the start of free agency on March 12. That salary cap figure could go up depending on other cost-cutting moves. Brady’s extension cleared $8 million in cap space for 2013.

    A look at how that could impact the Patriots this offseason:

    BEFORE BRADY RENEGOTIATION
    Potential addition: Cost:   
    Dwight Freeney, Colts DE$4 million
    Keenan Lewis, Steelers CB  $3 million
    David Nelson, Bills WR  $2 million
    Ramses Barden, Giants WR  $1 million
    Julian Edelman$1 million
    Free cap space: ($4 million rookie draft cap, $2 million for flexibility)      $6 million 
    Total$17 million
    Gone: Wes Welker, Sebastian Vollmer, Aqib Talib, Kyle Arrington, Danny Woodhead
    AFTER BRADY RENEGOTIATION
    Potential addition: Cost:
    Aqib Talib$8.6 million transition tag
    Wes Welker    $5 million cap charge
    Dwight Freeney, Colts DE    $4 million
    Julian Edelman$1 million
    David Nelson, Bills WR$1 million
    Free cap space: ($4 million rookie draft cap, $2 million for flexibility)      $6 million 
    Total$25 million*
    Gone: Sebastian Vollmer, Kyle Arrington, Danny Woodhead

    *$25 million is an approximated cap number

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    Note: For transition tag, team has right of first refusal and would receive no compensation.